‘I was debating really strongly in my head to retire,’ reveals Novak Djokovic after dramatic win
He was unable to “move, rotate and return” at some point during the match, but Novak Djokovic still managed to walk away with the win against Taylor Fritz.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner appeared to be on course for a three-set win in the third round on Rod Laver Arena, but there was a big twist in the third set.
Leading 2-0, Djokovic slipped following a slide and immediately pulled up holding his side and stomach, which required treatment.
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) February 12, 2021
He continued, but his American opponent pounced and took the next two sets to take it to a decider.
Djokovic, though, prevailed in the fifth to win 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2 and book his place in the fourth round.
“I think it’s a tear” 🤕
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) February 12, 2021
“I think it’s a tear. Well obviously mentally and emotionally, I feel great,” he said in the Eurosport Cube.
“It’s a huge relief to pull this one through in these kinds of conditions I found myself in… it was one of a kind type of match, for me, that’s what I said on the court, and I really mean it.
“It’s one of the best moments I have had in my career under these circumstances.
“Obviously I don’t want to talk about the intensity, or the level of injury, or the pain, it’s not going to matter much because people don’t understand what you go through on the court.
“The way it felt at the beginning of the third set, when I got my first medical timeout, I was debating really strongly in my head to retire the match after two games, because I just couldn’t move, I couldn’t rotate, I couldn’t return, the only thing I could do is serve, and that’s what got me out of the trouble … I knew my only chance is if I serve well and put pressure on his service games, which happened.
“And whatever is happening here [the injury] got better in the fifth, and I could start to play, and return a few serves.”
Andy Murray shows reals signs of promise despite defeat to Andrey Rublev
There were certainly encouraging signs for Murray, who came through the physical test against the big-hitting fourth seed.
Angry Andy Murray loses to world number eight Andrey Rublev in Rotterdam
The three-time grand slam winner smashed his racket into the ground as he was beaten 7-5 6-2.
ATP announces ‘Covid Protection Ranking’ amid ongoing restrictions
ATP announces new system and some tweaks to other systems.
WATCH: Turning his back on play, brilliant winners, racket smashing from Daniil Medvedev as he loses
Daniil Medvedev entertains, even when he loses.
‘I just don’t feel well here’ – Alexander Zverev’s Rotterdam woes continue as he bemoans early exit
Early exit for Alexander Zverev in Rotterdam.
As football’s VAR struggles continue, tennis celebrates 15 years of Hawk-Eye’s electronic line calling system
Hawk-Eye in tennis, some like it, some don’t.
Rafael Nadal vows he will continue to play tennis as long as he is ‘healthy and able to compete’
Rafael Nadal on retirement.
Tim Henman says ‘mesmerising’ Roger Federer ‘won’t just make up the numbers’ upon his return
Tim Henman on Roger Federer’s comeback.
Andrey Rublev expects ‘fun’ match against ‘true legend’ Andy Murray as Scot praises Russian’s work ethic
Andrey Rublev and Andy Murray sing each other’s praises.
Stefanos Tsitsipas explains how change in mindset helped him to turn things around in Rotterdam opener
Stefanos Tsitsipas shows some fight in Rotterdam win.